In honor of Prince Grace’s 91st birthday

Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929 in Pennsylvania to wealthy parents. In 1949 Grace worked as a model and made her debut on Broadway, pursuing her dream of becoming an actress. 

Later Kelly headed the U.S. delegation at the Cannes Film Festival in April 1955. While there, she was invited to participate in a photo session with Prince Rainier III.  One year after their meeting Prince Rainier married Grace Kelly. 

During her marriage, Grace was unable to continue her acting career. Instead, she performed her daily duties as princess and became involved in philanthropic work. By May 1958 the Red Cross, Monaco’s charity gave way to a new president: the Princess Grace. Prince Rainier had transferred the presidency to his wife and it was during her term when Monaco’s Red Cross became, proportionally, one of the most generous in the world.

Grace founded AMADE Mondiale, a Monaco-based non-profit organization recognized by the UN. The organization currently has cooperative branches across Europe, Asia, South-America, and Africa, and retains consultative status with UNICEF, UNESCO, and the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Princess Grace took Monaco’s cultural traditions seriously. She started an annual ballet festival to recapture the spirit of Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. Ten years later Princess accepted the invitation to be an honorary member of  La Leche League, a worldwide mother-to-mother support group that focuses on mothering through breastfeeding. Grace was a known advocate of breastfeeding, and successfully fed and raised her 3 children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert (who inherited the throne), and the youngest, Princess Stéphanie. 

Grace and Rainier worked together on a film called Rearranged in 1979, but before more scenes could be shot, Grace died and the film was never released or shown publicly. On September 13, 1982, Grace was driving back to Monaco from her country home in Roc Agel when she had a stroke while driving her car. The Princess was taken to the Monaco Hospital with multiple injuries. She died the following night at 10:55 p.m. Her daughter Stéphanie who was on the passenger’s seat, has luckily survived. 

Grace Kelly is more than just an actress or a pretty princess she fought for what she believed in, often putting others before her. Princess Grace had left a legacy through her movies and through her philanthropy.